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Psychopathy and impulsivity: The relationship of psychopathy to different aspects of UPPS-P impulsivity

Gray, Nicola S., Weidacker, Kathrin and Snowden, Robert J. 2019. Psychopathy and impulsivity: The relationship of psychopathy to different aspects of UPPS-P impulsivity. Psychiatry Research 272 , pp. 474-482. 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.155

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Impulsivity is thought to be a major component of psychopathy. However, impulsivity is a multi-faceted concept, and different facets may have differential relationships to psychopathy. We measured impulsivity via the UPPS-P in a sample of prisoners and in patients in a personality disorder service resident in secure psychiatric care. Psychopathy in the prison sample was measured via the clinician-rated Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version and in the patients via the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. We found that the Lifestyle/Antisocial factor (Factor 2) was associated with acting rashly when emotional (Negative Urgency and Positive Urgency). However, the Interpersonal/Affective factor (Factor 1) was associated with reduced impulsivity in the domains of premeditation and perseverance, and its unique variance was also associated with less rash behaviour. The Interpersonal facet (Facet 1) was particularly associated with reduced impulsivity. The results show that individuals with high Interpersonal traits of psychopathy can plan carefully and are persistent in their goals. This may underpin instrumental violence and criminal behaviour. Thus, a simple unitary understanding of the relationship between psychopathy and impulsivity may not be valid and may distort the multifaceted relationship between the two concepts that could assist in the assessment and management of psychopathic offenders.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-1781
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 January 2019
Date of Acceptance: 28 December 2018
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2020 16:00

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